The first two issues of Sam Humphries' HIGHER EARTH have been released and sold out with new printings going out. The third issue is due next month. Issue #5 will be drawn by MORNING GLORIES' Joe Eisma.
We have a story centering around alternate Earths with a mysterious plot centering around our two main characters. With infinite Earths, there are likely to be infinite possibilities. Because there seems to be a hierarchy to these Earths and the fact that someone can be 'illegal' on some, you have to wonder what is going on.
We spoke to Sam to find out more about this new universe he's created and to find out what he has planned for the series.
Comic Vine: HIGHER EARTH takes place in the future where the existence of alternate Earths and the ability to travel to them is known. How many different "Earths" have you thought about using so far?
Sam Humphries: Exactly 897,034,257,092,438,965 earths. Haha...okay only kind of kidding. I've come up with a bunch of different earths, but also a framework for how the empire Higher Earth organizes itself and the planets it conquers. Let me put it this way, when you imagine a city, you don't think of it block by block. You think of -- oh, this area is residential, this area has a lot of office parks, this area has tons of restaurants, etc. If you had a hundred earths at your disposal, how would that change the way you think about using them?== TEASER ==
CV: It felt as if the series would have a pure futuristic sci-fi feel but the second issue hints at other possibilities. Do you plan on mixing it up or focusing more on futuristic worlds?
SH: Every world in HIGHER EARTH is in the future, but not every future is advanced. Societies thrive and crumble. The real question is -- once you conquer a few earths, how do you decide which earths to target? What becomes valuable to you? What's kind of earth is too much of a pain in the ass to deal with?
CV: You have mystery and intrigue building in the book. Do you intend to keep that tension going, or will you reveal more of these characters?
SH: Some answers are imminent. Issue 3 ends with a bang that gets louder in issue 4 and explodes in issue 5. That issue is "the secret origin of Higher Earth" and shows how the possibilities of the multiverse collided with a vision of an unprecedented empire. At the end of that issue, readers will know more about the beginnings of the empire than the actual people who live under its thumb.
CV: In different sci-fi writings, meeting an alternate version of yourself could either have catastrophic results or just make for an awkward moment. Will we see someone meet up with an alternate version of themselves?
SH: Yes. Check out issue 3. And then issue 4. And then issue 5. Identity is one of my favorite themes, and this is the perfect concept to explore all of that great, catastrophic, awkward stuff.
CV: It's hinted that there is a hierarchy of sorts in the empire. Is there underlying structure of Higher Earth?
SH: These guys aren't just barbarians conquering left-and-right. They are empire builders, and they take their business of organizing the multiverse very seriously. We see our first "map" of the empire in issue 4.
CV: How far out do you have the series planned?
SH: I'd like to keep it going for 20-30 issues. I've got the middle and end planned, with lots of space in between for exploration.
CV: What do you want this series to bring that others haven't before?
SH: A large pizza to my front door. So far zero comic series have delivered a piping hot pizza direct to my residence. I want HIGHER EARTH to break this barrier and make comic book history.
CV: When will we find out what makes Heidi so important?
SH: At the Super Bowl. She's gonna lead the Minnesota Vikings to victory.
CV: Issue #5 is slated to be a 'perfect jumping on point' for new readers, what can you tell us about that?
SH: Issue 5 is "the secret origin of Higher Earth". Readers will see the birth of the empire, the moment where ambition met technology. After this issue, readers will know more about the beginning of the empire than most of the people in the book.
Be sure to track down the first two issues of HIGHER EARTH before next month's third issue. There is a reason these issues are selling out.
Tony Guerrero is the Editor-in-Chief of Comic Vine. You can follow him on Twitter @GManFromHeck. The idea of comics delivering pizza is intriguing but he wonders if the comics would be able to stay grease-stain free.